FEBRUARY 27 - APRIL 25, 2020
Opening Reception: Friday, March 6, 6-8pm
The Blue Hour, 2019
Natural mineral pigment, varnish on Japanese paper mounted on wood panel
55.1 × 94.5 × 0.6 inches (140 x 240 x 1.5 cm) (bottom)
Lunar World, 2020
Natural mineral pigment, varnish, metal leaf on Japanese paper mounted on wood panel
17.9 x 17.9 x 0.6 inches (45.5 x 45.5 x 1.5 cm)
SEIZAN Gallery New York is pleased to present Blue Hour, the first solo exhibition of Haruomi Izumi. Izumi is a forerunner of the Nihonga school. This group is comprised of contemporary painters who have achieved mastery of a unique set of traditional materials, techniques and subject matter developed in Japan for over a thousand years. Born in Chiba, Japan, after graduating from Tokyo University of the Arts, Izumi quickly became a young star amongst this large community of artists, scholars, and collectors pursuing traditional Japanese-style painting.
On the occasion of his first major solo exhibition outside of Japan, Izumi presents his signature “Hour” series. These landscape works are composed of obsessively detailed repetitions of white trees against a background of vivid ultramarine, crimson or oxidized gold leaves. With this series, Izumi challenges the notion of naturalism, typically a preferred subject of Nihonga artists. “Nature has a perfect beauty and I don’t find it interesting to merely copy it in my painting,” says Izumi. “I pursue new beauty by eliminating randomness and creating patterns from a single motif and then simplifying elements I find in nature.”
Izumi produces the meticulous “Hour” series using pigments made of precious minerals or sea shells mixed with animal glue, a traditional binding called “nikawa.” He uses mulberry washi paper and the finest hand-made brushes for the painstaking process of painting every stroke. With these traditional materials and tools Izumi creates stylized scenes which reference contemporary design, yet are deeply textured and rich in materiality. His landscapes transcend the tradition, and keep pushing forward the notion of Nihonga.
Izumi’s works are included in the collections of Chiba Bank, Keiyo Bank, and Hulic Co., Ltd.
The artist will be present at the opening reception on Friday, March 6, from 6:00 to 8:00 pm. The exhibition catalog is forthcoming in early April.